Home Authors Posts by Kathryn R. Bown

Kathryn R. Bown

Kathryn - Our health specialist likes to share with the readers the latest news from the field. Nobody understands better than her the relation between healthy mind and healthy body.

The spread of the deadly coronavirus is accelerating, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned, after holding a special government meeting on the Lunar New Year public holiday.

China is facing a “grave situation” President Xi told senior officials.

The new virus has killed at least 56 people and infected almost 2,000 since its discovery in the city of Wuhan.

Meanwhile, the US has announced that staff at the Wuhan consulate will be evacuated on a special flight on January 28.

According to the State Department, private Americans most at risk will also be able to board the flight to San Francisco.

Meanwhile, UK-based researchers have warned of a real possibility that China will not be able to contain the virus.

Travel restrictions have come in place in several affected cities. From January 26, private vehicles will be banned from central districts of Wuhan, the source of the outbreak.

According to Chinese state newspaper the People’s Daily, a second emergency hospital is to be built there within weeks to handle 1,300 new patients, and will be finished in half a month. It is the second such rapid construction project: work on another 1,000-bed hospital has already begun.

China Coronavirus: Lockdowns Across Hubei Province

China Coronavirus: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

China Virus: CDC Confirms First Case of Coronavirus Infection on US Territory

Specialist military medical teams have also been flown into Hubei province, where Wuhan is located.

The urgency reflects concern both within China and elsewhere about the virus which first appeared in December.

Lunar New Year celebrations for the year of the rat, which began on January 25, have been canceled in many Chinese cities.

Across mainland China, travelers are having their temperatures checked for signs of fever, and train stations have been shut in several cities.

Hong Kong has declared the highest level of emergency and school holidays were extended.

Several other nations are each dealing with a handful of cases, with patients being treated in isolation.

A coronavirus is a family of viruses which include the common cold.

However, this virus has never been seen before. It is called 2019-nCov, for “novel coronavirus”.

New viruses can become common in humans after jumping across the species barrier from animals.

The SARS [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome] outbreak of 2003 started in bats and transferred to the civet cat which passed it on to humans.

This new Chinese virus also causes severe acute respiratory infection.

Symptoms seem to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough and then, after a week, lead to shortness of breath and some patients needing hospital treatment.

There is no specific cure or vaccine.

Based on early information, it is believed that only a quarter of infected cases are “severe”, and the dead are mostly – though not exclusively – older people, some of whom have pre-existing conditions.

The Chinese authorities suspect a seafood market that “conducted illegal transactions of wild animals” was the source of the outbreak.

Chinese authorities have increased lockdown measures across Hubei province to try to control the spread of the new virus that has left 18 people dead in the country.

Wuhan, Hubei’s capital of 11 million people where the coronavirus first emerged, has no trains or planes in or out.

At least five other provincial cities are seeing clampdowns on transport.

There are more than 500 confirmed cases of the virus, which has spread abroad, with Singapore and Vietnam the latest affected.

The new strain of coronavirus is believed to have originated at a market in Wuhan. One resident of the city said the atmosphere there felt like “the end of the world”.

The lockdown measures come as millions of people travel across China for the Lunar New Year holiday.

All the fatalities bar one so far have been in Hubei province. Most of the 17 victims there were elderly and suffered from other chronic diseases including Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.

An 18th victim, an elderly patient, was announced on January 23 in Hebei province, near the capital, Beijing.

Wuhan’s public transport lockdown came into force as of 10:00 local time, leaving normally busy train stations and airports empty.

One Wuhan resident said on social media site Weibo that people were on the “verge of tears” when they heard about the closures.

China Virus: CDC Confirms First Case of Coronavirus Infection on US Territory

China Coronavirus: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

Health authorities are reported to have made wearing a mask mandatory in Wuhan. They are advising people to avoid crowds and public gatherings.

Demand for rubber gloves and surgical masks has soared. Taobao, the Chinese online retail giant, has warned sellers not to profit from the outbreak by raising prices.

Huanggang, a city east of Wuhan, suspended bus and rail services and encouraged people not to leave the city. Cafes, cinemas, theatres and exhibitions are also being shut.

Ezhou, a city just south of Huanggang, has shut its train stations.

Xiantaohas canceled gatherings, suspended transport and set up temperature detection stations.

Chibi and Lichuanare suspending transport.

Beijing announced it had canceled all major Chinese New Year celebrations.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The new virus discovered in China, known also as 2019-nCoV, is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses, but only six (the new one would make it seven) are known to infect people.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised people to avoid “unprotected” contact with live animals, thoroughly cook meat and eggs, and avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe disease. It’s not yet clear how bad this new coronavirus is.

If a patient has recovered from the infection, they should not pose a significant risk to others and can be sent home from hospital provided they are well enough.

The first human cases were identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.

There have not been any other suspected human cases reported prior to this.

China Virus: CDC Confirms First Case of Coronavirus Infection on US Territory

Given the type of virus, the incubation period (how long it takes for symptoms to appear after catching the infection) is days, rather than weeks.

It is not yet known how or when the virus became infectious to people.

Experts believe the first cases were transmitted by an animal.

At the moment, there is no vaccine that can protect people against this type of coronavirus, but researchers are looking to develop one.

It is a new strain that hasn’t been seen in humans before, which means doctors still have lots to learn about it.

Based on currently available information, the WHO has not recommended any restrictions on travel or trade.

You should re-check the latest travel advice before you depart.

Extra airport checks such as temperature scans have been put in place to screen some travelers in some countries/states.

Airports in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo have been screening air passengers from Wuhan and US authorities last week announced similar measures at three major airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

It is not yet known how the virus was transmitted. Other coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, came from cats and camels respectively.

Experts are working to find the source.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection apply. These include:

  • regular hand washing
  • covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
  • thoroughly cooking meat and eggs

Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

MERS belongs to the coronavirus family, which includes the common cold and SARS

The first case of the new coronavirus on the US territory has been confirmed, the Centers for Disease Control said.

According to the CDC, the virus, which originated in China, had been diagnosed in a traveler who arrived in Seattle from China.

The new virus, which spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan, has infected almost 300 people, and six have died.

The virus, known also as 2019-nCoV, is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans.

According to a tour operator, North Korea has temporarily closed its borders to foreign tourists in response to the threat.

The patient diagnosed in the US returned from Wuhan on January 15, the CDC said.

It added in a statement: “The patient sought care at a medical facility in the state of Washington, where the patient was treated for the illness.

“Based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, healthcare professionals suspected this new coronavirus.”

Laboratory testing of a clinical specimen confirmed the diagnosis on January 20, the CDC statement continued.

The announcement that North Korea was barring entry to foreign tourists came from Young Pioneer Tours, which is based in China and specializes in travel to North Korea.

Young Pioneer Tours said in a statement that North Korea was implementing a temporary ban as a precaution.

It said: “Further details are yet to be confirmed by our travel partners in North Korea and we will continue to make all future announcements on our website.”

Another tour group that travels to North Korea, Koryo Tours, also tweeted about “possible limits to tourist entry”.

Some experts have previously warned that international sanctions on North Korea had hit the country’s healthcare system, by restricting the delivery of aid and medical equipment.

On January 20, Chinese officials confirmed for the first time that the virus could pass from person to person.

At the same time Chinese state media said six people had died from the infection, which causes a type of pneumonia.

A total of 291 cases have now been reported across major cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai. However, most are in Wuhan, the central city of 11 million people at the heart of the outbreak.

New coronavirus can be passed between people in close contact, says WHO

Novel coronavirus kills Tunisian man

MERS coronavirus: Dromedary camels could be responsible for passing to humans

The disease was first identified there late last year, and the outbreak is believed to be linked to a seafood market that also sells live animals.

Aside from the US, two cases have been identified in Thailand, one in Japan, one in South Korea and one in Taiwan. All those infected had recently returned from Wuhan.

Authorities in several countries, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have stepped up screening of air passengers from Wuhan.

Last week, US authorities announced similar measures at airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

In Australia, a man who had travelled to Wuhan has been placed in isolation and is undergoing tests. China is the largest source of tourists to Australia, with more than a million Chinese citizens visiting last year.

However, the measures being put in place by North Korea are the strictest so far.

A report by the Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College, London, suggested there could be more than 1,700 infections.

However, Gabriel Leung, the dean of medicine at the University of Hong Kong, put the figure closer to 1,300.

Image source: Needpix

Winter weather results in an increase in slip and fall injuries and employers are being warned to take extra precautions.

According to the statistics from the National Safety Council, 34,000 people died at home and at work from slips and falls in 2016.

Employers are being urged to take further action to prevent tragedy from occurring at their places of business.

Are Slip and Fall Injuries Increasing?

There are worries that slip and fall injuries are going to continue to increase due to harsh winter weather conditions. Additionally, there are more businesses and more active employees than ever before. The US is currently experiencing record-low unemployment numbers.

It’s clear that regulations across New Jersey and the rest of the country have prevented thousands of injuries every year. The financial penalties for employers who don’t take appropriate action are significant and could cause many small businesses to be wiped out.

This has prompted them to act, particularly during the winter months.

More Awareness of the Dangers are Needed

Steven Benvenisti, a lawyer for Davis, Saperstein & Salomon P.C., has been involved in a major accident in the past. He sustained life-changing injuries when he was struck by a drunk-driver six weeks before graduating.

Today, Steven specializes in providing help to people who have been injured, as well as acting as a motivational speaker for a variety of medical associations, legal conferences, and universities.

He states, “It’s important that employers remember that falls are 100% preventable. There is no excuse for employers not to take the appropriate steps to protect employees and customers against injuries on their premises.”

What Can Employers Do to Reduce the Number of Slips and Falls?

Health and safety officials, as well as the legal industry, are calling for employers to educate themselves on the most common causes of slips and falls during the winter months.

Basic protections for anyone working at a place of business doesn’t need to be expensive. It can be as simple as placing rock salt on the ground and ensuring that parking lots are well-lit during dark hours.

The legal industry is also warning that the penalties for employers who don’t heed these warnings are huge. It could cost them tens of thousands of dollars if someone slips and experiences a sprain or break.

How Can Employees Find Help if They’re Involved in an Accident?

It’s strongly recommended that employees who experience an injury at work seek out legal help immediately. You can click here to learn more about slip and fall attorneys, and find help.

Steven says, “There’s a statute of limitations in every state on accidents in the workplace. For workers’ compensation cases in New Jersey, this limit is two years.”

Employees making a claim for a slip or fall in the workplace could be entitled to thousands of dollars, rather than scrambling to find the money to cover their medical bills.

With a cold winter expected in New Jersey, knowing where to turn is vital for employees when exercising their rights and entitlements.

A countrywide ban on some e-cigarette flavors has been announced in the US amid concerns about vaping among teens.

The FDA ban applies to mint, candy and fruit flavors that are offered in cartridge-based e-cigarettes, like the popular pods sold by Juul.

However, the US will continue to allow menthol and tobacco flavors, as well as fruit flavors delivered in other ways.

The action has been under consideration for more than a year, with several states passing similar rules.

Brazil, India and South Korea are among the dozens of countries that have announced sweeping vaping bans. Others, like China, have announced restrictions.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the Trump administration wanted to continue to offer adults an alternative to traditional cigarettes, while responding to concerns about growing addiction to a new product among teens.

He said: “By prioritizing enforcement against the products that are most widely used by children, our action today seeks to strike the right public health balance.”

According to health regulators, 55 people have died and more than 2,500 people have been hospitalized with injuries linked to vaping.

Investigators have said they believe vitamin E acetate, which is sometimes added to marijuana vaping products, is playing a role.

Should businesses provide separate smoking areas for vaping?

UK launches inquiry into the safety of vaping

Citing the crisis, President Donald Trump said in September the US would ban all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco, but the administration loosened its position after pushback from the industry.

This week, President Trump said: “We have to protect our families. At the same time, it’s a big industry. We want to protect the industry.”

Juul, the biggest e-cigarette company in the US, had already pulled its flavored pods from the market, but the action taken on January 2 forces competitors to make a similar move, within 30 days.

Advocates for stricter rules have said that teens will switch to menthol if other options are eliminated.

However, officials said they would take steps against menthol and tobacco flavored e-cigarettes if the FDA sees that their use among teens is rising.

The age for purchasing tobacco products has been recently raised to 21. E-cigarettes are also governed by those rules.

Image source: Pexels

Drinking alcohol is fun for most people. However, it’s important to consider the amount of alcohol you drink and how it affects your life, as well as, those around you. It’s easy to start as a social drinker and eventually become an alcoholic. And most alcoholics have financial challenges too. That’s why some people do not seek treatment for alcoholism even when the negative effects of alcohol on their lives and loved ones are clear.

Some alcoholics are homeless and unemployed. They live in abject poverty. These are just some of the conditions that hinder some people from seeking treatment for alcoholism. Nevertheless, some individuals are genuinely interested in fighting their alcohol addiction. As such, they may try the dangerous at-home detox or cold-turkey due to their financial challenges. 

Luckily, it’s possible to get substance abuse rehabilitation provided for free if you or a loved one is genuinely interested in beating alcoholism. You just need to know the available free or affordable options that you or a loved one can consider.

Finding Free or Affordable Rehab

Alcohol use disorder or alcoholism refers to drinking that causes physical or mental health problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive consumption of alcohol causes about 88,000 deaths in the United States every year. Seeking affordable or free rehab can, therefore, save a life.

Most residential treatment facilities are expensive. They require patients to have good insurance and credit. However, some facilities offer free help to addicts that can’t pay for their services. Here are some of the options to consider when you want to fight alcoholism on a budget.

Professional Rehab Facilities

Despite being for-profit and private, some facilities offer free help for alcoholics. These treatment centers provide alternative means of payment, sliding-scale fees, or payment assistance. So, if you or a loved one wants to fight alcoholism on a budget, don’t hesitate to ask. Just call or visit the nearby facility to find out if it provides payment assistance plans. Some of these facilities have assistance plans for individuals that do not have insurance or employment. 

Faith-Based Rehab

Faith-based programs that target drug addicts and alcoholics have existed longer than 12-step programs and professional rehabs. Religious organizations and groups have reached out to communities to assist people struggling with drug abuse and alcoholism for ages.

And, this is yet to change. Today, there are many faith-based programs than there were in the last decades. For instance, it’s possible to get a free drug treatment program offered by a Christian organization in almost any community. Thus, you can undergo treatment for alcoholism with such a program even when you have a tight budget.

State Supported Rehabs

Some states, counties, and cities offer inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities for drug addicts and alcoholics. These are completely tax-funded and they do not charge a fee for their services. Their programs may include long-term residential treatment and short-term detoxification. They can also provide individual counseling and therapy at local clinics.

It’s, however, crucial to note that state-sponsored programs have long waiting lists. That’s because most people that use them are in the system already. These have interacted with agencies like the criminal justice system and the county health department.

Additionally, taxpayers’ money supports these programs. Therefore, they can experience significant cutbacks in funding during hard economic times. Consequently, their services can be restrained.

Online Recovery Support

If you Google ‘free rehab near me’ the search engine will list many options including those providing online support. These are platforms that offer support aimed at helping people quit drinking. Some are chat rooms, instant messenger groups, bulletin boards, and email groups. If you can use these platforms to communicate, you can also use them to get recovery support.

Any addiction recovery program has an online presence. In most cases, you will find chat meetings that started many years ago. That means you can learn about the challenges that different people have faced while fighting addiction. You can also get the support you need to fight alcoholism on a budget by checking in with your forum friends.

Mutual Support Groups

Alcoholics Anonymous is an example of mutual support groups that have helped many people fight alcohol addiction. This mutual support group has existed for over 75 years. Millions of people have learned to beat addiction and lead sober lives. The group has remained self-supporting via its members’ voluntary donations.

If you wish to regain sobriety but have a tight budget, attending meetings of a mutual support group can help you. You can also get a sponsor that will help you through the 12 steps. Most addiction recovery programs yield better results when mutual support is included. Even if you don’t have a spiritual inclination, there are secular support groups to consider. The majority of these groups do not have dues or fees.

Reasons to Get Professional Help with Alcoholism even on a Budget

Regardless of your financial status, it’s important to get professional help with alcoholism.

Here are some of the reasons why rehab is important:

  • Specialists at the rehab facility will guide and help you through the detox process. They will make the otherwise unsafe and painful process comfortable. Attempting to detox from alcohol or drugs at home can be dangerous without medical supervision. That’s because some withdrawal symptoms are life-threatening.
  • Rehab specialists provide the assistance alcoholics need to avoid relapse. They can even prescribe medication that facilitates the withdrawal process.
  • The counseling sessions offered in the rehab facilities help the patients understand their causes of alcohol abuse and addiction. This is an important step in the recovery process.
  • Rehab centers offer specialized treatment that heals the damage caused by alcohol to the brain structure and chemistry.
  • The aftercare support provided by rehab centers promotes a substance-free life and long-term sobriety.

A tight budget should not be a reason for not seeking treatment for alcoholism. Many options exist for those in need of affordable treatment or free alcohol treatment centers. Simply search for a facility that offers the kind of treatment you need and one that’s within your budget.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Divorces carry immense emotional baggage and therefore turn bitter because of lost love, unfilled expectations, and broken promises. There is no doubt that both spouses go through a lot and bear long-lasting psychological impacts.

But amid this chaos, it’s the children who suffer the most because they see their parents fighting tooth and nail in front of them at such a tender age. Parents often forget about talking to their children appropriately about this huge adjustment that they have to make.

Moreover, with divorce rates experiencing an unprecedented surge, more and more children are going through this ugly experience. Therefore, we have compiled here six life-altering psychological effects of divorce on children to make parents realize the gravity of their actions.

  1. Children experience chronic anxiety and stress:

Children start to develop chronic anxiety because they see their haven turn into a battleground. Their stress levels spike due to immense confusion as they find themselves unable to understand the whole process of divorce. This confusion also results in misplaced guilt as they start to blame themselves for the problems between their parents.

Moreover, do not forget about the stress associated with significant adjustments they would have to deal with, like living with one parent, switching between different homes, and the possibility of dealing with a step-parent.

2. Children experience behavioral issues:

The persisting anxiety throughout childhood turns to depression and starts to shape the behavior of children. It is reported by different studies that children of divorced parents experience more mood swings and irritable behavior than children of non-divorced parents.

This impulsive behavior is a direct result of confusion they develop during their childhood while observing the behavior of their parents with each other. They start to believe that this is how they are supposed to talk to their loved ones and others.

3. Children experience isolation:

Since not all of their friends have single parents, children of divorced parents lose relatability with others and find themselves socially isolated. Moreover, their impulsive behavior also pushes everyone away and therefore reinforces the vicious cycle of social isolation.

4. Children experience trust issues:

Another thing that reinforces their social isolation is the lack of trust they develop over the years. Their broken trust in parents and the idea of family disable them to trust others and form meaningful relationships.

5. Children lose academic rigor:

Plunging into depression results in a lack of focus which strangles the academic rigor in such children. Moreover, they also lose the drive to excel academically because they are no more interested in making their parents proud.

6. Children experience delinquent behaviors:

Children from broken families feel that they have nothing to lose, which makes them engage in unlawful activities. Such children are reported to engage in more delinquent behaviors like assaults, substance abuse, and premature sex as compared to those children who belong to intact families.

Therefore, if you happen to go through a divorce, prioritize your children because leaving them unattended will scar them for life. Moreover, employ a wise lawyer like the ones associated with Family Lawyers Newcastle group, because such lawyers will try to reach an amicable divorce that will shield your children from psychological dents.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

In the past three decades, modern medicine has gained extraordinary ground. In addition to refining our understanding of stem cells and how they function, we’ve quickly moved to bioengineering sheep and other animals from somatic cells, as well as tissues that could possibly be used for transplants. It’s seemingly the stuff of science fiction. But it’s happening; it’s called regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine is the science of using living human cells to fight, repair, replace and/or otherwise heal damaged, diseased or decaying ones. It’s a broad term and can be applied in and for a variety of different situations and conditions. Many people may only associate regenerative medicine with sports injuries since several well-known athletes have made headlines by undergoing a stem cell treatment to help alleviate the effects of their acute or chronic injuries. But while stem cell therapy is one type of regenerative procedure, it’s not the only one. Regenerative medicine includes all of the following clinical therapies:

Cellular Therapy

Stem cells are at the heart of regenerative medicine. After all, they are the body’s “master cells,” capable of making many, if not all (as in the case of embryonic stem cells), of the body’s different cell types. But other cells can be used for cell therapy, as well, including red blood cells, certain types of immune cells and islet cells. Red blood cells, for example, can be harvested to create a platelet rich plasma (PRP) and mesenchymal stem cells can be used to treat pain and inflammation for degenerative joint conditions.


Immunotherapy is a type of cellular therapy, but it also includes the transfer of certain proteins and monoclonal antibodies and/or other molecular material such as interleukins and interferons. Its goal is not so much to repair cells but to fight “bad cells.” It does this by either strengthening the body’s overall immune system so that it can fight a disease (usually cancer) on its own or by creating an “army of cells” specifically programmed to target certain “bad” cells (like those in a tumor). In either case, specific immune cells are harvested from a donor, grown and/or modified in a lab and then injected into a patient to effectuate healing.

Transplantation and Bioengineering

Finally, regenerative medicine can also refer to those treatments that aim to replace or repair large areas of damaged tissue (like organs, large portions of the skin and bone marrow). A traditional organ transplant, for instance, is a type of regenerative procedure. Indeed, some transplants are also stem cell transplants, such as when bone marrow and its accompanying hematopoietic stem cells are harvested and then transplanted into a recipient to treat leukemia. And sometimes, tissues can be manufactured using living cells so that they can be transplanted into a body to provide a conducive environment for cell proliferation and growth. Examples of this include using bone grafts to treat cancerous or badly broken bones or growing artificial skin to cover severe burns.

Image source PxHere

In wedding vows, most couples make promises to stand by each other in both sickness and health, and there is a reason why they include sickness along with health. You will mostly find people who will be there with you in the good times of health, but those numbers deplete in the challenging times of sickness.

Therefore, it is imperative to be with our beloveds who are going through the challenging times of sickness. In this thread, we have compiled a few ways by which you can cheer up those who need happiness the most.

Open up to them:

Sometimes, all you need to comfort someone is to let them know how you feel and how much you are worried about them. Now that you are living in a digital world and are reluctant to have a heart to heart conversation, you can do it on a phone call or may send a text.

There are so many modes of communication these days that not being able to communicate face to face should not be a problem.

Make them a personalized card:

Another heart touching way of communicating your feelings is by making customized cards. Live conversations tend to go off-topic, and one can get carried away with emotions. This can result in your message being conveyed improperly.

But personalized cards do not only give you time to write and express peacefully but also reflect the effort you are making in trying to cheer your beloved up.

Be a good listener

Do not merely focus on being expressive but also work hard to be a good listener. If your downtrodden beloved is not being able to speak, ask open-ended questions, and that will start the flow of discussion inconspicuously.

Try to Help

Most of us have a lot on our plate, and this is the kind of world we live in. So in this setting, sickness can get overwhelming. Hence, try to facilitate those who are in sickness by helping them out in their daily responsibilities like picking up their kids from school, getting grocery and other routine stuff.

This help can go a long way in healing that person much sooner than later.

Keep them engaged

It so often happens that when we are in a negative space, we get flooded with negative thoughts, and it becomes so important to drive ourselves away from this negative dimension.

We must realize that being sick is like being in an extremely negative state of mind, and we should try to engage our sick beloveds so that they do not get a lot of time to think. We can play with them their favorite game, or watch their favorite movie or listen to their favorite songs.

Make them a gift basket:

Another thing you can do to cheer your beloved up is to make them customized get well gift baskets. You can get all of their favorite things, like chocolates, candies, flowers, books, etc. and make them realize that how much you love them.

Sickness can befall any of us anytime, even during relaxing activities like going on vacations, and therefore we must be sensitive to the illness of others.

All of the efforts mentioned above sound manageable, but it is not only the highs and lows of sickness that demand attention, but the middle parts are vital as well. Therefore, ensure that all of your efforts are long term and sustainable because healing takes time and your efforts must span across that time.

Image source: Keytruda

An immunotherapy drug can be effective in some men with advanced prostate cancer, a major trial has shown.

The phase II clinical trial, led by the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden, involved 258 men with advanced prostate cancer who had run out of all other options on treatment.

The men had stopped responding to the main treatment options.

According to researchers, a small proportion of men, described as “super responders”, remained well even after the trial ended, despite a very poor prognosis before treatment.

Last week it was reported the same drug had proved effective in treating advanced head and neck cancers.

Immunotherapy uses our own immune systems to recognize and attack cancer cells.

The therapy is already being used as a standard treatment for some cancers such as melanomas – and being tested on many others too.

Nivolumab: Immunotherapy Drug Hailed as Game-Changer in Cancer Treatment

Bladder cancer breakthrough: New immunotherapy drug for terminal patients

The study found that one in 20 men with advanced prostate cancer responded to the drug pembrolizumab – and saw their tumors actually shrink or disappear altogether.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that although a relatively small number, some of the men gained years of extra life.

A further 19% saw some evidence of improvement.

Most patients in the study lived for an average of eight months on the drug.

The most dramatic responses were seen in patients whose tumors had mutations in genes involved in repairing DNA.

Researchers are now investigating whether this group might benefit the most from immunotherapy in a larger trial.

But first, a test to pick out who will respond best is needed, so that doctors know which patients to give it to.

The number of people diagnosed with prostate cancer has been rising over the last 10 years.

This is probably because the population is getting older and more people are having PSA tests.

Around 30% of men with advanced or stage four prostate cancer survive their cancer for five years or more after diagnosis.

Last week, a separate trial found the same drug kept some people’s advanced head and neck cancers at bay for an average of two years – five times longer than under chemotherapy.

Both studies are part of a growing body of research suggesting immunotherapy could offer hope to an increasing number of cancer patients.


The holiday season is coming. Soon, guests will fill homes to make memories that will last a lifetime. One of the biggest challenges of the holidays is creating magic moments without driving yourself crazy with stress trying to achieve those golden memories. With the right tools, you can enjoy a wonderful holiday without being overwhelmed by stress.

Organization is Key

To keep your sanity during the holidays, you need to plan early. Guests can be stressful and the holidays are no exception. The more details you can handle before the guests arrive, the smoother things will go.

Plan the menu. If you are hosting the main holiday meal, it can take days to shop for and prepare all the food. Start early. Make lists and double-check them. Do all the shopping you can before the guests arrive so you can focus on your guests and enjoying time with your loved ones.

Make a guest list. Details such as who is coming to dinner and any food allergies are important. Use your guest list and compare it to the menu to balance the number of guests with the food. If you invite a dozen people to dinner and serve up one pie, your stress level soar will soar.

Will there be overnight guests? Where will they sleep? The more issues you can iron out before the guests arrive, the better things will go. Unexpected issues will always come up. If you address all the big details before the last minute, you’ll have more time to address the last minute disasters as they occur.

Schedule Downtime

Between cooking meals, entertaining guests, and attending to a million details, holiday entertaining can be overwhelming. To be a good host and keep your stress levels in check, you need to give yourself a few moments to catch your breath. Sneak a few moments of downtime and allow yourself to put your feet up to keep your sanity.

The longer you will have guests visiting, the more you need to schedule downtime. Get creative with efforts to get self-care if you need to. Send guests off shopping together or to visit another relative, and sneak a quick hot bath to soak aching muscles. If there are no options to sneak a few moments of downtime, a family movie with popcorn and holiday-themed candy cane cocoa, using flavoured syrup, can be a good way to enjoy family and reduce stress.

A big part of a warm and fuzzy holiday is being able to enjoy family time without a mental breakdown. While stress is a part of any holiday, giving yourself a few moments to tend to self-care is crucial. Spending time with your loved ones should and can be a joy, but you need to take care of yourself while tending to everyone else.

Stay On Budget

It is easy to get swept up in the season’s magic. A big part of managing stress is keeping your budget intact. Sit down before you plan your holiday and have a serious discussion about what you can afford. Perhaps a potluck meal with everyone bringing a side dish would be best for your budget. Maybe you need to avoid spending on gifts. Figure out what you can afford and stick to it.

It is possible to stay on a budget and have a holiday to remember. Stores often run sales on holiday meal staples just before the holiday season. Take advantage of coupons and cashback offers, if you can. A popular option for many holiday gatherings is for everyone to bring their special dish while the host provides the main course. Most people have a dish they love and will jump at the offer to bring it. Turkey giveaways are also popular. There are many ways to host a holiday meal without breaking the bank.

Gift-giving is another place that the holidays can bust a budget and cause stress. We all want to give a gift that will wow our loved ones. Overspending on gifts is the quickest way to make your stress level rise. The best gifts do not come from stores. If your budget does not allow for a ton of pricey material items, then get creative and go with gifts that don’t cost a thing. Keeping to your budget will help reduce your holiday stress.

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. If you go into the season with the right plan, it will be wonderful and stress-free too.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Famous throughout the world such as the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino, Las Vegas is also a city visited for its tourism, and commercial and natural resources that surround it. In fact, many people who have visited the city as tourists have decided to stay in Las Vegas to live and even retire as retirees for their good residential areas. Although it is true that Las Vegas and other neighboring towns are in the Nevada desert, the city has important aquifer supplies, both to the east, in the nearby Colorado River and the large lakes it forms, as well as numerous springs. In fact, the name of “Las Vegas” was given by the first Hispanic settlers to discover an area of green and wooded areas.

The Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino

Located in Las Vegas, The Westgate Las Vegas Resort is within a 15-minute drive of McCarran International Airport and features a rooftop pool, hot tub and outdoor tennis courts. Offering free private parking on site, the resort offers unique 3.5-star accommodation and a bar. Built in the 1960s, the Westgate Las Vegas has recently been refurbished to ensure maximum comfort for guests. Services and services include body and facial treatments, 24-hour room service and a sauna.

The modern rooms in Westgate Las Vegas are all air-conditioned and include an iPod docking station, a private bathroom and on-demand movies. In the rooms there is an internet access in the rooms, a telephone and a flat-screen TV. On-site dining options include Benihana, which is the perfect place to enjoy a meal. A variety of breakfasts is available every morning.

Popular Las Vegas attractions are within easy reach of the resort, including Star Trek the Experience which is just minutes away. The Las Vegas Convention Center, Stratosphere Las Vegas and the Greek Isles Hotel & Casino Star Theater are around a 20-minute walk away.

Birth of Las Vegas

As for the birth of Las Vegas, although Mexican and Spanish explorers passed through the area, it was the American John C. Freemont , once the area passed from Mexico to the United States, who first unveiled the Las Vegas valley nationwide so that later it began to be colonized from 1855 by Mormons and the American army itself.

Today, the main street of Downtown Las Vegas is Freemont Street, in honor of the military and which in its western part has numerous accommodations to have fun and stay in Las Vegas .

It must also be said that Las Vegas is not the name given to a single city but to a metropolitan area of almost two million inhabitants and composed of several cities and counties such as Henderson, North Las Vegas and others that we will see later.

As for the geographic boundaries of the Las Vegas Valley, they reach west to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area; to the east, to the Colorado River, which creates Lake Mead, a large aquifer area that is the main water source for the city, and to the south to the Sloane Canyon conservation zone.

And the northern part of the Las Vegas metropolitan area are miles and more miles of arid mountains and desert.


Medical malpractice is a serious topic, but it’s also something that gets used inappropriately by many people who are simply looking for a handout. Studies, including one from Purdue University published in 2017, have found that over a quarter-million people die every year from medical mistakes.

That’s a good reason for doctors and victims alike to take this topic seriously, as there is the potential for some significant long term damage for either party involved. Victims of these situations can have life-threatening consequences while doctors can lose their careers over just one incident.

When trying to determine whether or not a case of true medical malpractice has occurred this is what is considered.

Promptness of Medical Malpractice Reporting

In order for medical malpractice to be determined and taken care of, it must be reported shortly after the incident or illness happens. This is to protect the doctor and medical staff involved from getting put at fault when it wasn’t caused by them.

Medical Negligence

It’s important to note that just because a patient’s condition gets worse, it doesn’t mean it’s a criterion for medical malpractice. Everyone is different, and if it happens that a certain treatment didn’t go as hoped, the doctor is not normally found at fault. The responsibility of the doctor is to act professionally and treat you to the best of his or her ability. In addition, there are some conditions that will only get worse over time and do not have any kind of immediate cure or treatment available.

A Doctor’s Recklessness

Much like what was mentioned above, with conditions that worsen over time, the same parameters exist for patients who are not treatable. If a person is injured in an accident and contracts an illness, the blame can’t be placed on the physician simply based on the outcome of the patient. As long as the doctor took the best course of action according to his or her knowledge on how to move forward with treatment, this is not considered to be recklessness or medical malpractice. If you believe that a medical professional intentionally gave you the wrong treatment to harm you, it’s important to take notes and save any documents related to the visit to the doctor as that is medical malpractice.

Treatability of a Victim’s Illness

Of course, in some cases, patients have a condition or illness that just isn’t treatable. Or, they can be treated with an expectation that things will not turn out how they want them to. Sometimes, people like to blame doctors who aren’t able to make them feel better, but recovery from a serious injury or illness completely depends on who’s involved and their body responds to the treatment. Medicine is not guaranteed to work for everyone, which is why it is certainly not considered malpractice to fail a plan for treatment. Malpractice laws are not in place to lend a hand to the unfortunate, but to make sure that people are getting fair treatment and the best approach for tackling a health issue.

Testimony From an Expert

A critical part of determining malpractice is to get advice from someone who is very familiar and comfortable with the industry. Someone like a medical malpractice lawyer can be a big help in these situations as well as to help you come out on top in the courtroom. In almost all cases, testimony from an expert is required by state law during a trial. Medical malpractice is not something that is taken lightly, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands after talking to an attorney or expert in this department.

Medical Officials Panel

When a patient makes a medical malpractice claim, it is taken seriously right from the very start. After the initial paperwork is done, a panel in the medical field has a meeting to determine if the person has a potential case. It’s important to know that this panel cannot replace a real trial in a courtroom, nor award damages, but this is one step that someone must do in order to officially file a malpractice situation. After all the evidence that is presented to the group is reviewed, it is then decided if this is a case of medical malpractice or not. Obviously, the ones that are real cases move forward to the legal system.

Image source Wikipedia

Aches and pains happen from time to time, especially as we get a little older. However, when you’re relatively young, specific aches and pains can tell a different story altogether. An intrauterine device (IUD) can cause some of the aches and pains you feel. This can lead to more significant problems if the pain is due to your IUD shifting. You sometimes confuse your IUD pain with monthly cramps, especially if it’s happening around your time of the month. We’ll look at the subtle differences between IUD pains and monthly cramps and help you understand which one is happening.


The IUD has been around for ages, its acronym IUD stands for IntraUterine Device. This birth control device is implanted inside the woman’s uterus via vaginal insertion and helps neutralize the risk of pregnancy by acting as an internal barrier against sperm traveling through to the egg. There is usually some discomfort and pain during implantation and the first few days of having the device. The real issue happens if the IUD shifts or moves against your cervix. Shifting doesn’t happen all that often, but when it does, it’s quite painful. If the device has moved upon digital inspection, you’ll need to consult with a doctor or medical practitioner to adjust the IUD back or to take out and reinsert it.  Here’s a few frequently asked questions about the side effects of using an IUD that we put together for you.


Cramps, or dysmenorrhea, are a way of life for women monthly during their menstrual cycle. The degree of cramps and pain associated with a period varies from women to women. Some women report no cramps or pain while some report heavy cramps and horrible pain. These pains are usually felt in the lower back and the lower abdomen, and typically last for a few days during the menstruation period. Nausea and headaches can also happen alongside cramps. Under normal circumstances, the pain usually subsides after five or seven days.


One of the first things you can do is check for any movement in your IUD. If you can’t feel the strings, or if the strings are uneven, then the IUD has moved. You’ll need to visit your doctor. You can also target where the pain is coming from to figure out which one it is. If the pain is deeply-rooted inside your uterus, specifically from your cervix, then you can put two-and-two together and chalk up the distress to your IUD shifting onto your cervix. If the pain is a “general” pain that sits in your lower abdomen or your lower back and it’s during your menstruation period, you can ascribe the pain to menstrual cramps.

Menstrual cramps can’t be gotten rid of. The best you can do is to control the pain with over-the-counter pain relievers. The pains will slowly subside as you draw nearer to the end of your menstrual period. In some cases, resting with a heating pad on your back or abdomen will also help with the cramps and pains associated with them. For questions and help related to Dysmenorrhea or IUD’s, consult with your doctor or medical practitioner to get your questions answered.


Cryotherapy is essentially cold therapy. Cold therapy has been around for decades, possibly even centuries, although only recently the true science around its benefits are being realised. In fact, the benefits of being submerged into an extreme temperature -110° Celsius (166°F) is a lot more recent, with the first whole body cryotherapy chamber being invested in the late 1970s in Japan.

Whole body cryotherapy (WBC) is just that. You get yourself in a chamber, where around -110°C cold air is blown on you for around 2 to 4 minutes. It is either refrigerated cold air or liquid nitrogen that is used. It is necessary to wear few clothing, only gloves, socks, a mouth, ear and nose mask that are usually wear for protection.Whilst cryotherapy doesn’t have many serious risks, precautions should be taken to avoid side effects (such as starting off easy i.e. 2 minutes maximum for the first session.) So, why do it? Here are some of the main benefits that have been studied and discovered.

Physical benefits

Most of us are aware of the benefits of old school cold therapy such as ice baths. WBC shares some of these benefits but given its more extreme nature, it has some unique ones too.

  • Pain relief – muscle pain is a nightmare for those who do lots of sports or exercise. Cryotherapy can increase the blood flow and relieve the pain as well as accelerate the healing process. It’s not just for athletes though. People with arthritis and general muscle pains have found great relief from using WBCs.
  • Inflammation – Inflammation can be reduced through the use of cryotherapy. Chronic inflammation is linked to problems like dementia, diabetes and cancer.
  • Weight loss – Cryotherapy has a lot of evidence for directly aiding weight loss. The therapy can increase metabolism, expend more energy (calories) to stay warm and finally it allows those with muscle injuries/pain to recover faster, thus increasing their potential for exercise. The increase in basal metabolic rate means we burn fat that’s stored.
  • Skin – Some eczema sufferers have seen improvements from the use of cryotherapy. It is also shown to rejuvenate skin and make it softer. The cold should also close skin pores.

Mental benefits 

Back in the early 1900s, it was common to treat mental illness patients, for example those with psychosis, by putting them in an ice bath. This may be as futile as it was barbaric, but it doesn’t mean there are no benefits for our mental health by cold treatment. 

Plucking up the courage voluntarily put yourself through the adversity of an uncomfortable and freezing cold experience is character building in itself. If you can do that, even if it’s as benign as a cold shower, then you’re less likely to spend the rest of the day following the path of least resistance (being a couch potato). 

Whilst you wouldn’t regularly do whole body cryotherapy like you do cold showers, they are an uncomfortable experience for many. Submerging into minus -110°C  temperatures (authentic cryotherapy) is thought to help reduce the risk of developing dementia (due to the reduced inflammation), as well as reduce anxiety and depression.

Image source Pixabay

When you are choosing floors for your home, it is incredibly important that you consider both the material you use and its durability in addition to the colour and style. One type of floor which will always look classy and timeless no matter what is oak laminate flooring. This might be the perfect addition to your home and it will seamlessly tie into a few different styles. Here are some of the best rooms for you to lay down oak laminate flooring.


If you have a hallway from your front door instead of just opening straight into a room then you might want to look into an oak laminate floor for the flooring. This will create a beautiful room which will serve as a fantastic place to welcome people into your home from. The hallway is the first place visitors will see when they come in so you want it to be as impactful as possible.

You might think that laminate flooring is not hard-wearing enough to protect against all the wear and tear a hallway might face. However, it is an incredibly hard-wearing surface and it will last much longer than you think. What’s more, it is also incredibly easy to keep clean so no matter how much mud you trek in, it will be easy to clean up again.


The right oak laminate flooring can make for a beautiful and unusual floor for a bathroom. Most people would expect a tile or a vinyl floor for a bathroom but a laminate floor can create just as interesting an impact if used correctly.

Just make sure you get a waterproof one if you decide to opt for an oak laminate flooring for a bathroom. Laminate flooring has a tendency to warp if too much water gets on it; something which is not ideal for a bathroom. Waterproof laminate flooring has been properly treated to ensure that it cannot warp in the same ways.

Living Room

A family’s living room is used for a variety of things. Some people like to use it as a place to come together to watch television, others use it as a place to chill out with a book, and some even use it as a place to eat. With all uses comes the chances for spills and scuffs from furniture being moved out.

You need a floor which is going to stand up to whatever your family can throw at it. This is why oak laminate flooring is one of the best options you could choose. It is durable and, with a little protection for your floors in the form of felt stoppers on the feet of your furniture, it should last you a very long time.

These are just some of the rooms you could place oak laminate flooring. It is by far one of the most versatile floors out there and will help you to create a beautiful room no matter where you try to use it in your home. Choose the first room you are going to place oak laminate flooring in today!

Image source Pixabay

Autumn is the perfect time to start thinking about some of the ways you can make your bedroom all the more cosy and snug in preparation for the cold winter months. From something as simple as new bedding to completely overhauling how the room looks, there are plenty of ways you can get prepared as the nights get longer.

A New Colour Scheme

If you feel like your room is a little bit tired then one of the first things you can do is change out the colour scheme. A new wall colour might be the perfect thing you need to reset things and make everything feel like you have just moved in again. Try to go with no more than three colours if possible. You should try to aim for something either bright or dark, an accent colour, and a neutral to tie them all together.

You can even very easily rejig the room so you can easily switch things out if you like to change things frequently. All you need to do is opt for something neutral for the walls and furniture. Focus the colours in the soft furnishings and other things which are going to be easy to change.

Laminate Flooring

While you might first think that a carpet would be best for a bedroom, especially when going into winter, you might be surprised to learn that laminate flooring is also a great option. One of the key reasons why laminate flooring is just as good is that it is one of the flooring types that can have underfloor heating placed underneath it.

This is truly a touch of luxury and can completely transform your bedroom. Whilst it is lovely to dig your toes into a thick carpet on a cold winter’s morning, being able to step directly onto a warm floor is just as nice.

Better Bedding

You might think that your current bedding is fine but the colder winter weather is the perfect excuse to invest in a thick duvet and some high-quality bedding. For the winter, you want a duvet which is about 13.5 tog to help keep you warm. You can also find many amazing blankets to heap on top and help you keep even warmer.

The material of the bedding itself is incredibly important too. For winter, we would recommend brushed cotton. It has all the advantages of cotton such as breathability whilst also being incredibly warm and cosy. With this on your bed, you will want to curl up and never get out again!

Update Your Wardrobe

When was the last time you went through all of your clothes and decided what you want to keep? If the answer was not very recently then you should definitely think about doing a sort through; especially if you have bought new wardrobes as part of your update. It is much nicer to fill the new wardrobe and have some room for new purchases instead of cramming everything you currently own into the new one.

If you cannot cut down your wardrobe, or you feel like you still don’t have enough space, consider buying some discrete storage for under the bed. This will allow you to put your bulky winter clothing out the way in summer while also allowing you to put some of your nicer summer dresses away when you aren’t going to be wearing them.

Think About Lighting

Most people light their bedrooms very simply with a pendant light above and a bedside light for when it is time to go to sleep. However, redecorating offers you the perfect chance to play with lighting in your room. The way you light your room can actually help you to zone your room quite successfully.

Do you have a designated dressing area? You can now source lights quite easily which brightly light your face when doing your makeup and can even change colour to let you know how you will look in different light sources. If you have a desk, a small lamp here can help you feel like it is a place to work in. Finally, check that your bedside lights aren’t too bright. You want to be able to comfortably read in bed but you don’t want them to be so bright that you may as well have the top light on.

Consider Cutting Down on the Electronics

It has been shown time and time again that too much blue light can seriously interfere with your sleep patterns. Being able to watch TV in bed is a true luxury but it is not always the best for your night’s sleep. As difficult as it might be, try to move your television out of your bedroom and save that piece of luxury for hotels.

Likewise, if you use your phone as your alarm clock, try to place it on night mode when you are sleeping and make sure it is not in the bed with you. Have a side table you can definitively place it on to keep it out the way. The night mode will also save your eyes from the harsh blue light of the phone if you wake up early and want to check the time. If you are using a digital alarm clock instead, make sure that it has some sort of night mode.

Make It You

No matter what you are doing, you need to make sure that your remodel is completely and utterly you in design. Everyone would like a room to look like it is straight from a magazine but that just isn’t always feasible. If you prefer a certain configuration of furniture, make sure you put it in. Hang up photos, put a vase of your favourite flowers on your chest of drawers. It is your bedroom and you need to make sure that it is a place you want to stay in, no matter what.

Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, of the University of Oxford and Francis Crick Institute, William G. Kaelin, of Harvard, and Gregg L. Semenza, of Johns Hopkins University share this year’s Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.

The three scientists discovered how cells sense and adapt to oxygen levels.

Their work is leading to new treatments for anemia and even cancer.

The role of oxygen-sensing is also being investigated in diseases from heart failure to chronic lung disease.

Image source Twitter

The Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, said: “The fundamental importance of oxygen has been understood for centuries but how cells adapt to changes in levels of oxygen has long been unknown.”

Peter Ratcliffe said: “I’m honored and delighted at the news.

“It’s a tribute to the lab, to those who helped me set it up and worked with me on the project over the years, to many others in the field, and not least to my family for their forbearance of all the up and downs.”

2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Awarded for Groundbreaking Work on Parasitic Diseases

The oxygen-sensing ability of the body has a role in the immune system and the earliest stages of development inside the womb.

If oxygen levels are low, it can trigger the production of red blood cells or the construction of blood vessels to remedy this.

More red blood cells mean the body is able to carry more oxygen and is why athletes train at altitude.

Oxygen levels vary in the body, particularly:

  • during exercise
  • at high altitude
  • after a wound disrupts the blood supply

And when they drop, cells rapidly have to adapt their metabolism.

So, drugs that mimic it may be an effective treatment for anemia.

Tumors, meanwhile, can hijack this process to selfishly create new blood vessels and grow.

So, drugs that reverse it may help halt cancer.

Levels of hormone erythropoietin (EPO) were shown to rise as those of oxygen fell.

The scientists discovered this was because a cluster of proteins called hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) was changing the behavior of DNA, the genetic code.

Further work showed when oxygen levels were normal, cells constantly produced HIF only for it to be destroyed by another protein, VHL.

However, when oxygen levels fell, VHL could no longer stick to HIF, leading to the build-up sufficient levels to change the behavior of DNA.


Image by Daniel Stuhlpfarrer from Pixabay

During the Winter months, when the temperatures are freezing and the snow is piling up, the desire to curl up by the fire with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate, and some freshly baked cookies is only natural. But when your desire to hibernate becomes all-consuming, and all you want to do is stay indoors and sleep until Spring, it could be a sign of a problem.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), sometimes called the “Winter Blues” affects as many as 10 million Americans every year. What makes SAD different from other forms of depression is that the symptoms — which include social withdrawal, fatigue, sleep disturbances, sadness, irritability, weight changes, and an increased desire for starchy foods — is that it’s directly tied to a change in the seasons, and the symptoms resolve on their own when the days get longer. Most experts agree that it’s the reduced exposure to sunlight that causes SAD, as it disrupts the natural production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our natural sleep cycle. Other possible causes of SAD include reduced levels of serotonin, and a deficiency in vitamin D, which contributes to reduced serotonin levels.

Regardless of the cause, there’s no need to suffer through a long Winter with depression. Although some people benefit from psychotherapy and medication to help alleviate their symptoms, lifestyle changes with a focus on exercise and a commitment to healthy sleep can reduce the symptoms of SAD.

The Exercise – Winter Blues Connection

Although there are several ways to treat the symptoms of the Winter Blues, including light therapy, one of the most effective is exercise. Even though you might feel like staying indoors for a Netflix marathon, physical activity is vital to preventing many of the effects of sunlight. Research indicates that 30-60 minutes of exercise each day can help manage symptoms.

Exercise helps control seasonal depression for several reasons. For starters, research indicates that exercise can work as well as antidepressants for some people. This is due in part to the endorphins, so called “happy” chemicals that help you feel better during and after a workout. In addition to endorphins, though, working out also increases the production of growth factor proteins, which improve your brain function by increasing nerve cell growth and new connections, in particular in the hippocampus. This increased brain function can improve mood, reducing the feelings of depression.

Even without all of the benefits to the brain, though, staying active during the colder months can help you avoid SAD in other ways. Exercising outdoors, for instance, will expose you to beneficial sunlight — even on a cloudy day — which can help spur vitamin D production and support your natural circadian rhythms and allow you to maintain a normal sleep cycle. Just getting outside for some fresh air can help you feel more energetic, and working out with friends and family helps you maintain those important connections that can boost your mood and get you through the long Winter.

Exercise, Sleep, and Depression

One of the most common symptoms of Winter depression is a change in sleeping habits. While some people suffer from insomnia, it’s actually more common to grapple with hypersomnia, or sleeping too much. This is due in large part to the changes in light. Shorter days and less natural sunlight disrupts melatonin production, throwing your sleep cycle out of balance. Melatonin essentially triggers your body to sleep when it’s dark and wake when it’s light, but when it’s dark for a larger part of the day, it’s difficult to maintain this natural rhythm.

So how can you combat the changes to your sleep schedule that Winter can bring? One of the best options is exercise. Multiple studies have shown that exercise benefits people with insomnia, with the best exercises to help you sleep moderate-intensity aerobic workouts like walking. At the same time, exercise is beneficial to hypersomnia, as it can help increase the production of melatonin, especially when you exercise outdoors in the early morning. Regularly working out in the morning triggers your body to create melatonin in the evening, so you can maintain a normal sleep schedule.

Of course, when it’s cold in the morning, getting out of a warm and cozy bed to work out can feel like the last you want to do. It can be easier to do when you get plenty of sleep at night, but avoiding some of the other habits that can come with SAD will also help regulate your sleep. For example, stick to a healthy diet, rather than constantly indulging in the creamy, starchy comfort foods you crave, and be conscious of your calorie intake if you are less active than normal so you don;t gain weight, which can affect your mood.

And while outdoor exercise is ideal, have some alternative options for indoor activities on days when the weather keeps you indoors. Do an exercise video at home, try a yoga class, or head to the skating rink for a few hours. Think about how you can exercise anywhere, and you’ll help improve your mood and your sleep all the way through to Spring.

Image by 广扬 罗 from Pixabay

A succulent is a modest plant that makes a big statement. Think about it: rows and rows of potted plants with carved leaves arranged in intricate arrangements inside your family room.

The very fact that these plant heroes don’t need much fuss and care to keep them alive should make you their biggest fan! Of course, like any plant-life, they come with their own basic instructions manual that you must follow, if you’d like them to stay fresh and springy.

Tip #1: Drainage matters

This is an important one. When choosing the pots/container for your succulents, consider the containers they come in. Your local florist will be able to help you out with this. Florists usually keep scores of containers for floral arrangements and they deliver, too.

And if you’re lucky, you might get same-day delivery. That is if your florist is anything like Pearsons Florists. The containers you order need to have adequate drainage without appearing clunky.

Succulents don’t need much water, but even on occasion, it should be drained properly.

Tip #2: ‘Tis the season to water

It’s a popular misconception that succulents don’t need much water to thrive. This is completely wrong, however, so don’t put away your watering cans.

Succulents need to be watered according to specific seasons. Water your plants in the spring and summer seasons more frequently, followed by occasional sprays of water in oncoming months.

These tough little plants like to soak up water and retain it for colder months, so make sure they have enough to get them through.

Tip #3: Don’t spray away

You might be an expert at knowing when to water your succulents, but chances are, you’re not aware of where to do it.

Essentially, succulents don’t need to be watered on their surface, unless you’re cleaning them of course. Make sure to spray water directly into the soil and do this until you see water escaping the drainage holes.

This will ensure that water has been absorbed all the way through.

Tip #4: Avoid spring cleaning

When misting/spraying succulents on their leaves, it’s better to be cautious. This is because frequent misting or spraying can cause mold or rot to flower on the leaves.

Pungent mold can kill off your beautiful succulents so refrain from generous misting!

Tip #5: Let there be light

Succulents love light! If you have them, don’t keep them away from sunlight. However, make sure you rotate the containers so they’re not placed in the way of direct, scorching sunlight.

This is especially true for new succulents that are exposed to too much light. If this happens, their leaves will get scorched.

Think of them as babies with tough skin. Light exposure should be gradual, minimal and changeable. On the other hand, for older and tougher plants, make sure to rotate them frequently. This is so one side doesn’t absorb more sunlight than the other.

We hope these easy tips will help you care for your beloved succulents and keep them alive! Happy gardening.


The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey claim to have more than 33% of women and one in 12 men have encountered life-partner violence in their lifetime.

             What would be a good idea for you to do?

If you are charged with a domestic violence offence, you should seek advice immediately from experts like Marsh Blom Lawyers. You will be guided thoroughly and professionally which will make the things easier and smoother for you to handle properly.

Moreover, in case you’re in a fix about what you can do to help, you should study the following tips.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

                Effective Measures to Stop Domestic Violence

Here are 7 points you can adopt to help prevent domestic violence at home.

  1. Know the warning signs

White, black, young, old, rich, poor, educated, uneducated__ anyone can fall a prey to domestic violence at home. Sometime viciousness starts from the get-go in a relationship and on different occasions it takes months or even a long time to show up. On the other hand, some warning signs happen to appear. Be careful about the red flags an abuser may show anytime in a relationship:

  • Being envious of your companions or time spent away from your partner.
  • Disheartening you from investing time away from your partner.
  • Humiliating or disgracing you.
  • Controlling every budgetary choice.
  • Making you feel remorseful for all the issues in the relationship.
  • Preventing you from working.
  • Deliberately damaging your property.
  • Undermining brutality against you, your pets or somebody you like to gain obedience.
  • Pressurizing you to engage in sexual relations when you would prefer not to.
  • Threatening you physically, particularly with weapons.

2. Don’t overlook it

Cops hear something very similar from witnesses over and over—I heard/saw domestic violence but would not like to get engaged. If you hear your neighbours involved in a violent situation, call the police. This is your social and moral responsibility to keep your society free of the evils like domestic violence. It could help to spare a life in the end.

3. Hear out

If somebody ever opens his heart to you that they are encountering domestic violence at home, tune in without judgment. Accept what they are letting you know and ask how you can help. Your patient and attentive listening will not only console their heart but may also go a long way towards solving the issue sensibly.

4. Be available

If somebody you know is intending to leave or is in fear that the violence may shoot up, be prepared to help. Your cell phone should be with you with the ringer on, make sure your car tank is full and talk about a runaway plan or meeting place early. Mind it that your prompt availability counts a lot in many respects.

5. Keep the nearby shelter number

Nobody ever knows who may need a haven in no time. Keep numbers to shelters and your cell phone is equipped with the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

6. Check consistently as well as randomly

If a loved one or friend is in peril, connect routinely to guarantee their security. You may keep in touch off and on as well. It will keep the victim well boosted and motivated all the time to face the things confidently.

7. Be empathic

Somebody encountering violence will most likely be unable to research shelters, escape plans or set up necessities like bank balances and mobile phones while living with their abuser. Offer to do the legwork to help ease stress and keep things hush-hush.


Domestic violence in our society is in full swing. To cope with it, we need to pursue some effective techniques.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is planning to use a second Ebola vaccine to help control an outbreak that has killed more than 2,100 people.

In July, former Health Minister Oly Ilunga opposed the vaccine use saying it had not been proved effective.

However, DR Congo health officials say the vaccine, developed by Johnson & Johnson, is safe.

This outbreak, in the east of DR Congo, is the second largest on record.

The largest was the epidemic that ravaged parts of West Africa from 2014 to 2016, killing more than 11,000 people.

According to a government statement, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will complement the vaccine manufactured by Merck which has been administered to 225,000 people in the past year.

However, DR Congo’s Ebola response team have not yet said when it will be introduced.

Leading health experts have said that the second vaccine is safe and could be an important tool in holding back the spread of the virus.

Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson said it had 1.5 million doses available to be deployed.

The current Ebola vaccine, which is in short supply, is only being given to health workers and people who might have been exposed to the virus.

The new vaccine could create a protective wall, vaccinating people outside the immediate outbreak zone.

The Congolese authorities intend to use the second vaccine outside the infected areas in Ituri and North Kivu provinces. They first want to protect the small Congolese traders who regularly cross into Rwanda.

There have been concerns that the new vaccine – which requires two injections at least 25 days apart – may be difficult to administer in a region where the population is highly mobile, and insecurity is rife.

The Merck vaccine requires just one injection.

Ebola Outbreak Declared in DR Congo

Ebola Vaccine VSB- EBOV Leads to 100% Protection

DR Congo has struggled to get the outbreak under control.

Insecurity in the east of the country and people’s suspicions of treatments have hampered efforts.

About 200 health facilities have been attacked in the country this year, causing disruption to vaccinations and treatments. In one incident, family members assaulted health workers who were overseeing the burial of their relative.

A 2018 study published in the Lancet medical journal says “belief in misinformation was widespread” concerning the Ebola outbreak.

In a statement in August, the World Health Organization (WHO) called on countries and NGOs that have offered help to “increase their presence in the field to stop Ebola and to address one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world”.

The current outbreak in eastern DR Congo began in August last year and is the biggest of 10 to hit the country since 1976, when the virus was first discovered.

In July, the WHO declared the Ebola crisis in the DR Congo a “public health emergency of international concern”.


Forms of birth control have been around for decades, and after the fog of shame and congressional gatekeeping lifted in the 1960s, birth control became more available and prevalent. One of the most popular and effective forms of birth control has been the IUD. The IUD or Intrauterine Device was initially conceived in 1909 when Dr. Richard Richter used insertions of a silkwood ring into the uterus.

In the 1920s, Dr. Ernest Grafenberg and Dr. Karl Prust also created silkwood rings for uterine insertion with varying degrees of modification to Richter’s original design. These IUD’s were reported to have an effective rate of 97% against pregnancies. Dr. Grafenberg, in a later revision, used pure silver around the ring and unfortunately, the women’s bodies absorbed the silver with their gums turning blue and black (gingival argyrosis). He used a silver alloy made from a mix of different metals, including copper, which alleviated the silver absorption problem and also increased the effective rate to 98.4% against pregnancy.

Image source: Wikipedia

Copper would play a part later on in the century with doctors discovering the effect that copper has on sperm, which increased effectiveness against pregnancy to 99%. These copper-wired IUD’s would later come into the market in 1988 under the Paragard name.

There have been some misfires on the road to the IUD’s of today. The A.H. Robins Company in 1971 put an IUD on the market called the Dalkon Shield. The marketing for this IUD was aggressive and was priced modestly compared to other IUD’s on the market. In 1974, it was pulled from the market due to a poorly-designed removal string that caused bacteria to enter the uterus. These bacteria caused thousands of women to develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), infertility, and in some cases, sepsis. There were over 300,000 lawsuits filed against A.H. Robins in the late 1970s which caused the company to go bankrupt and fold.

There are five different kinds of IUD brands today, which consist of Skyla, Kyleena, Lilleta, Mirena, and Paragard. The first four are known as hormonal IUD’s because they contain the hormone Progestin (Levonorgestrel) which mimics the naturally-produced hormone Progesterone. These hormones help thicken mucus in the cervix, which can block and trap sperm from reaching the egg. In some cases, the hormones can stop the egg from leaving the ovaries, which eliminates the chance of impregnation due to no egg being available.

The fifth one listed, Paragard, is a copper-wrapped IUD with no hormones which can protect against pregnancy for 12 years. This is the most extended protection of any IUD available. The hormonal IUD’s protection range lasts anywhere from three years (Skyla) to seven years (Mirena and Lilleta). Paragard also carries the most risk associated with using it. Women have reported more massive period flows and more menstrual pain in comparison with other IUD’s. You can’t use Paragard if you’re allergic to copper or if you suffer from Wilson’s Disease.

One of the IUDs pros is that once it’s in, you’re done. Under normal circumstances, you can leave it in until you reach the end of its useful life. IUD’s also have the highest effectiveness against pregnancy short of total abstinence.

The cons of using an IUD are in the insertion process, which can be a bit painful. The pain could last for a few days after insertion, and there’s always a risk that the IUD could shift or even fall out, but that risk is small under normal circumstances.

If you’re interested in an IUD, please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner to learn more, we also created an FAQ the explains the process for getting an IUD.


You count on doctors to keep you strong and healthy, but they can do better jobs when you take primary responsibility. Considering that medical visits can be expensive even with insurance coverage, appropriate attention to your own health helps make the most of each visit — and avoid unnecessary office returns.

Most importantly, the more you know about self-care, the better your overall health can be.


These Tips Can Help You Be The Best Possible You

You don’t have to spend too much time or money if you make tips like these a habit.

#1. Monitor at Home

Most people have a thermometer in the house, but how many have their own blood pressure monitors? Even this type of test is only the beginning; there are home tests available for a surprisingly wide variety of conditions. You already know about the availability of home pregnancy and drug tests. But, did you know that tests are also available for infections, cholesterol, thyroid levels and many other things?

These tests are not replacements for doctor-administered versions, but they can alert you to the need to make lifestyle changes— and when to seek medical attention.

#2. Communicate Freely

Whether you’ve known your doctor for a long time, or even if you are going to your first visit, the best way to ensure proper treatment of your medical issues is to tell the whole truth. Include all details even if some of them seem embarrassing or unimportant. Between visits, be sure to keep a list of questions and complaints so you’ll be ready to impart all information next time.

You might also consider talking to trusted friends and family members. While their advice does not replace discussions with your doctor, you might be surprised by how often their past experiences can identify potential medical conditions. Expressing these theories to your doctor can be very helpful.

#3. Avoid Risky Behavior

Few people go out of their way to treat their bodies badly. Still, a fast food burger that you can eat while driving is a typical go-to when you don’t have time to sit down and eat a healthy salad. Whether you need to quit smoking or stop eating so many sugary and fatty foods, attempting to correct everything at once is overwhelming.

Select one habit to tackle at a time to make your goals achievable. While you’re addressing one issue, however, continue to be mindful of the other bad behaviors. This motivational practice will make every habit easier to deal with when the time comes.

Finally, keep in mind that moderation is a great goal that helps you avoid feeling so deprived that you eventually binge. Clearly, moderation does not apply to cigarettes and other addictive substances. However, if your health objectives are well under control, feel free to go to Bacon Fest, but just for an hour.

#4. Maintain Your Own Medical Records

As years go by, you amass records that reveal medical patterns that may be enlightening in the future. Unfortunately, medical offices seldom provide copies of those records to patients, even though you have a legal right to obtain them. Since you seldom see the same doctor over a lifetime, knowledge of your medical history can bring new doctors up to speed.

You may have to pay your doctor’s office to print out hard copies that you can pick up in person. Electronic copies might be available at little or no cost, but privacy laws do not permit transmission by email. You can, however, obtain healthcare records by fax to help you regain control over your own healthcare.

#5. Find Ways to Deal With Stress

Very few people can avoid all stress. But, since many physical ailments are actually signs of stress, you need to learn to recognize the symptoms and take action to bring it down to a reasonable level.

First, determine if some of your stress can be completely eliminated. If your workload is unmanageable, try to find people who can help ease the burden, whether they are co-workers or even your family members. Also, try to determine how much of your stress is not necessary. A golden rule is to stop worrying about things that haven’t happened yet unless you can pre-plan methods for dealing with them.

For unavoidable stress, regular exercise is a great way to relax. A walk through nice scenery and music from tweeting birds is like tonic for the soul. Yoga is also very healthful, while the required concentration on each pose creates meditation-like calmness. If you are digitally minded, find a smart phone relaxation app that you can pull out of your pocket on an as-needed basis.

You May Live Beyond 100, So Make it Good

The number of centenarians in the U.S. alone is currently about 72,000. That number is growing, and predictions indicate that it might grow to around a million by 2050. Most people agree that advanced age is a benefit only to those in good health. You can’t avoid every ache and pain that is inevitable with aging, but you can have a long, rewarding life by taking primary responsibility for your own health.